The Union Recorder

Community News Network

April 17, 2014

The case for separate beds

WASHINGTON — The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids. We have a comfortable, firm king-size bed in our master bedroom, but my husband was sick and gross, so rather than hop in the sack with him, I decided to quietly slip down the hallway and sleep alone.

It was the best night's sleep I've had in years.

For once, I was able to sleep in my preferred position - on my stomach in a big X, socked foot hanging off the bed to the right, sockless foot hanging off the bed to the left. There was no tug of war over the covers, no pokes in the back to alert me to my snoring, no waking up to a wiggly kid (or two) in bed with us. In fact, no waking up at all. It was, pardon the pun, a dream.

Having slept so great solo made me wonder, why don't we all sleep alone?

I tossed this question to the hive mind at Slate and was surprised that many had similar feelings.

"Yes! I think about this all the time."

"Bring back separate beds!"

"I recall liking [sharing a bed] at one point . . . but now . . .  after like 9 years all I think is, 'Stop breathing on me!'"

"Humans are surprisingly hot. Sharing a bed with a person is like sleeping with a radiator. When I have a girlfriend, there's a 'cuddling time' after which we move as far away from each other as possible to actually sleep. But I'm romantic that way."

Exactly. Sharing a bed is good for sleeping together, but not actually sleeping together. We all know the importance of sleep, so why then do we still choose to share our beds with the kickers, the snorers and the human furnaces that we love?

"Man since time immemorial has made preparation for sleep, either laying an animal pelt on the ground or using plant matter as some sort of mattress," according to sleep expert Neil Stanley. "Originally we all slept together on the ground, mainly because we had nowhere else, but also for warmth and security."

Warmth and security? We have flannel pajamas and deadbolts now.

There have been times throughout the history of slumber that couples did not share a bed. Ancient Romans retreated to their separate quarters in the evening. On "The Dick Van Dyke Show," Laura and Rob Petrie turned in to their separate beds, and I bet they slept great.

The only thing I'd change about this set up would be to shove the beds closer together and have two nightstands on either end. Having your own bed is a luxury. Having your own bed and nightstand? Yes, please.

Our first married bed was a queen. It sagged terribly in the middle and made us roll together. We'd wake up spooning - forced that way by the bed - and sweaty. Our second bed, also a queen, developed a rather large hump in the middle from all the edge hugging we did during the night. Ten years into our marriage, we finally have a king. There is more than enough room for our whole family to sleep comfortably, yet that twin the other night - it was amazing.

So what's holding me back from selling our king mattress and ordering two twins? Society! Mention separate beds today and most people assume marital troubles.

"In our culture, sharing a bed is a sign of intimacy, and it could also be a barometer of the health of the relationship," sleep expert Anne Bartolucci told me when I called her for backup. "Falling asleep in the company of another person puts you in a very vulnerable position, and it shows a certain amount of trust. There's a reason that 'sleeping with' someone is one of our expressions for sex. Also, it's a bonding experience, and it's been shown that couples who share a bed communicate better and experience other benefits like increased levels of oxytocin, which can reduce inflammation."

I don't suffer from inflammation. I do suffer from bad sleep. And chronic bad sleep, according to Bartolucci, has been shown to increase the likelihood of stroke and heart attacks. It makes people more susceptible to develop not only health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure but also conditions like obesity that increase the risk of major health issues. It also contributes to or exacerbates psychiatric problems like anxiety, depression and attention deficient hyperactivity disorder. Why must we risk these things just to prove to ourselves that we are happy couples? Separate beds means better sleep, which in turn can produce healthier spouses and a happier marriage. I rest my case.

Though when I gingerly mentioned this theory to my husband and he agreed with me, I did feel a tiny bit hurt.

 

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 2.21.22 PM.png VIDEO: Dog 'faints' from excitement of seeing owner

    A reunion between a Pennsylvania woman who had been living overseas for two years and her pet schnauzer has gone viral, garnering nearly 20 million views on YouTube.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why a see-through mouse is a big deal for scientists

    A group of Caltech researchers announced in Cell Thursday their success in making an entire organism transparent. Unfortunately, this isn't any kind of "Invisible Man" scenario: The organism in question is a mouse, and the mouse in question is quite dead.

    July 31, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 2.12.55 PM.png VIDEO: Five-year-old doesn't want her brother to grow up

    Sadie, an adorable 5-year-old from Phoenix, wants her brother to stay young forever, so much so that her emotional reaction to the thought of him getting older has drawn more than 10 million views on YouTube.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

Poll
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up